The University Record, June 5, 1995

$100,000 Bloch Arts Fund will bring arts into academic experience

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

The physics of music ... the artistry of archaelogical finds ... the mathematical theories underlying musical composition, art forms and architectural designs ... the impact of the social and political environment on the process of creating art.

These are just a few of the types of projects and courses that could be funded by a recent gift of $100,000 to the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

The Marion and Henry Bloch Arts Fund, which will be spread evenly over five years, has been established to bring the arts more centrally into the academic experience.

"The purpose of the fund will be to enrich the undergraduate and graduate curriculum by helping students recognize the importance of the arts and benefit from the power of integrating creative arts and analytic inquiry," says Katherine Kurtz, LS&A assistant dean for development and external relations.

"By bringing art and science, or art and academic analysis, together in new and imaginative ways, the Bloch Arts Fund will help students gain an appreciation for the arts that they will retain throughout their lives."

English Prof. Ejner Jensen, special counsel to the president, says that such an undertaking is sorely needed.

"I think generally our students don't have sufficient exposure to the arts," he says. "They certainly have a lot of exposure to popular culture, but they don't have a lot of exposure to the visual arts or to drama or theater or musical performances, classical music, opera, that sort of thing.

"I think often there are cultural barriers between people who are in applied fields and the world of the visual arts or music. Often, too, people in applied fields simply don't have time to give to the study of the arts. To open up the arts to them simply says there are other ways of looking at the world and that if you do that, then maybe you can enlarge your thinking about your own subject."

Faculty throughout the University are invited to submit proposals describing projects or courses in which artistic efforts can be integrated with academic inquiry within LS&A, Kurtz says.

Proposals, she adds, should indicate how the effort will stimulate new ways of learning and enhance the curriculum and must include a description of how the project or course will be continued beyond first-year implementation.

LS&A Dean Edie N. Goldenberg, along with associate deans, will choose one or more projects to be financed by the Bloch Arts Fund in each of the next five years.

Proposals should be submitted by June 30 to Michael Martin, associate dean for undergraduate education, Room 2522 LS&A Building. For an application or more information, contact Kurtz at 998-6255 or kkurtz@umich.edu.